History of Leith, Edinburgh

December 19, 2012

The Road to the Altar-stane.

The high altar (of the old South Leith) in honour of the Virgin Mary stood
at the east end of the choir, with a beautiful statue of
Our Lady standing above it. In front hung an oil lamp,
always alight night and day, in honour of the sacramental
bread or host, which, enclosed in its jewelled pyx,
was suspended just over the altar. The upkeep of this
lamp was in all likelihood provided for by the rent of
the Lamp Acre at Seafield. This piece of ground lay
adjacent to lands belonging to the Lamb family, who
bad been dwellers in Leith from the days of Bruce, and
may have been gifted by one of them for the welfare of
the souls of his parents and of his own.
The church door giving access to the high altar was
never closed, so that the faithful might come to worship
there at any hour of day or night. Opposite this Gothic
doorway, in the churchyard wall, was a wicket, perhaps
originally simply a stile, as it was named The Mid-style,
leading out to Coatfield and Charlotte Lanes which,
before Lord Balmerino extended his garden to the
Links, formed one continuous street with Quality Street,
and was known as the Road to the Altar-stane.

source-The Story of Leith

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